SEOUL, Aug 31, 2009 (AFP) - North Korea urged Japan Monday to break with its "crooked" past and apologise for coercing Asian women to serve in brothels for its troops in World War II.
The demand followed a landslide victory by Japan's Democratic Party, which is projected to have won a landslide victory over the Liberal Democratic Party in Sunday's election.
"If Japan wants to secure international trust, it must squarely break with its crooked past," the ruling communist party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary.
It urged Tokyo to emulate Germany, which apologised for and paid compensation for crimes committed under Nazi rule during World War II.
Japan has a "historic, legal and moral" obligation to frankly acknowledge and pay compensation for wartime sex slavery, it said, adding it would face growing international criticism over the issue.
Historians say more than 200,000 women, mostly from Korea and China, were forced to work as sex slaves for Japanese troops.
Tokyo has acknowledged the existence of so-called "comfort women" but denies any government involvement.
Japan imposed harsh colonial rule over Korea from 1910-45.